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Jay Czerwinski

Raspberry pi 3 and falcon caps - jittery pixels

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I have tried a little exploration with the Falcon Pi Caps on Raspberry Pi 3s.

I have two Pis set up, using an IP address to send DMX.

There are two windows with 56 pixels each on one, and two windows with 70 pixels each on the other.   This seems to me to not be a lot of pixels.

However, in my shows from the LOR programs, the windows jitter and pause during cascades of color as created in LOR S4 software.

I have it currently set up as a universe per a window.   Universe 1 on output of FPP board of strand 1 (56 pixels).   U2 for output 2 (56 pixels),   U3 on the second Pi unit strand 1 (70 pixels), and U4 for output 2. (70 pixels)

 

Now I have heard that sending out even partial universe means ALL universe channels are sent.   So my first attempt to help is to reduce the first two windows 56+56 = 112 pixels = 336 channels on universe 1 only.  this eliminates 1 universe of #2.   Then the same for the second pi that was running universes 3&4. - combine 70 pixel window with another to put 140 pixels on just one universe instead of two.  70px x 2 windows = 140 px = 420 channels on pi #2. 

 

This is what I will try next.  But if you have similar experiences or pro-advice, I'd love to hear from you!!!!

 

Thank you for your time in advance.

Jay

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Interesting!

Well I run 1- falcon pi cap to control my entire show with a pi3. It runs my music, outputs to my 6 LOR controllers as well as  runs my 2 front windows (50 pixels each)my under even lights on the house ( 150 pixels) and runs my garage outline and lawn perimeter pixels( when I use them which are another 250 pixels. All are ws2811 strips not nodes by the way. All off this off the 2 ports of that,           1- falcon picap, with power injection of course.

This is what I did. I split the signal out of the cap into 4. Each port runs lead strings to the lights. So 2. Of my 3 under eve lights are run off 1 port= 100 pixels.

The second port runs 1 under eve light-50 pixels. And also runs a main leader out to the windows as well as the garage and lawn. Now this port,I split again to the various elements- lawn,garage,windows. So in the players menu I have my port 1 set for 200 pixels my port 2 is set to 400 pixels. The total can not exceed  1800 leds that's the max, over all between both ports. If it's not setup in the menu correctly nothing will work.

It's a great piece of hardware but it's very pickey.

Took my alot of trial and error to make it all work properly.  I have a. 2nd one that I use to test with which I will use for future pixels.

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On 10/27/2018 at 2:49 AM, Mister said:

Interesting!

Well I run 1- falcon pi cap to control my entire show with a pi3. It runs my music, outputs to my 6 LOR controllers as well as  runs my 2 front windows (50 pixels each)my under even lights on the house ( 150 pixels) and runs my garage outline and lawn perimeter pixels( when I use them which are another 250 pixels. All are ws2811 strips not nodes by the way. All off this off the 2 ports of that,           1- falcon picap, with power injection of course.

This is what I did. I split the signal out of the cap into 4. Each port runs lead strings to the lights. So 2. Of my 3 under eve lights are run off 1 port= 100 pixels.

The second port runs 1 under eve light-50 pixels. And also runs a main leader out to the windows as well as the garage and lawn. Now this port,I split again to the various elements- lawn,garage,windows. So in the players menu I have my port 1 set for 200 pixels my port 2 is set to 400 pixels. The total can not exceed  1800 leds that's the max, over all between both ports. If it's not setup in the menu correctly nothing will work.

It's a great piece of hardware but it's very pickey.

Took my alot of trial and error to make it all work properly.  I have a. 2nd one that I use to test with which I will use for future pixels.

Thanks for sharing Mister!!

Can you give me a little more detail - like are you loading your show on the pi as a master or are you using a computer to run things?   Do you go through a router if from a computer? If so, then what kind?  How is the network wire configuration?

 

Thanks for sharing and giving me some nuggets to work with in my troubleshooting!

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Nope, pi is the master!! Runs it all.

I am away alot with work and my wife can use a computer for squat so she can't run it when I am gone. This way the show works no matter who is home or not home for that matter.

 Sequences and music mp3 are on USB drive that FAlcon player formatted when started it initially up/ booted. Then dropped files into the folders it made.

No computer, the pi is the computer that runs the controllers,etc. Only time I use the computer is to write the sequences and when I download them onto the USB for the pi to use.

Then I go to the falcon player ip address and setup the rest from there.

Networking: this one I originally had issues with as well.but after searching I found a nice little gadget that work great. It's a tp- link 300mbps universal wifi range extender. Plugs in any wall outlet or extension cord and picks up your wifi router signal and has 1 cat5 connector in the bottom of it which in turn goes to the pi. So now my pi is wireless and I can access it when I am on my home wifi signal! Even if it's out in the yard in a box!! Hand little gizmo. Only other way I found my pi is useable is if I connect it direct with my router. But that's no where near my lights.😊

Now the player ip address site you setup for it. That still has to be told what yo do since all the pi does is read the sequences/ music you tell it to. And if your ip site connections are not what you sequenced them to be the player won't play them. They have to match up to play!  If you over or under send the amount of connects it won't play.

Also I found out it will only output to LOR 16 channel controllers. The 8 channel ones it will output to but only the first 8 channels then it skips the second set of 8, even if the sequence is setup correctly. 

Its Kind of a B... this way.. very pickey.. but once you figure out what it's looking for to work it becomes second nature setting it up.

Does that make sense??

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On 11/1/2018 at 2:19 AM, Mister said:

Does that make sense??

Thanks Mister for all of that detail.    Sorry for my delayed reply - life's been busy!

You've given me a lot to work with in my continued discovery phase, which now I realize will have to happen after Christmas most likely.   I have a 3200 pixel ASAP mega tree too that just is making things too complicated.    I am going to run the same LOR show and set that up on Thanksgiving, and then tinker with all of your info and the mega tree through December - really for 2019 show.

BUT THANK YOU!  Your original post got me to thinking and I found the immediate problem with my 252 pixels currently on two pi's.   The problem was that they were on an active network with LOR running the show and the LOR Comm Listener seems to be the problem as it is listening to too many other things on the network.   When I simply unplugged the LAN network from my home router, all of my pixels ran smoothly!!

FOR OTHERS - DO NOT HAVE YOUR HOME NETWORK ON A SWITCH OR ROUTER THAT YOU ARE USING E1.31 RUN DIRECTLY FROM LOR.  THE LOR COMM LISTENER HATES THAT!

I got to thinking about this when you said your show was running from the Pi directly.   And I also heard something from my local friend Tom Langley about "some other program problem with LOR" - he uses XLIGHTS and then loads everything on a falcon like you do a pi.    So some E1.31 reading from LOR manuals helped me figure the com listener issue out.  

Problem solved and thank you for the direction.  I plan to reference your notes above and may be contacting you again in the future Mister!

p.s. I like your second message where you used the wifi repeater.    

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Just loaded the new Falcon 2.4 pi player software. Different then the previous version  1.8 but its actually much simpler to make sequences run on, especially since now it has a pi cap specific section to run pixels on.

Yes the LOR listener does make issues when run with falcon. This is why I run everything from the pi. It's much simpler to load sequences onto and just tell LOR controllers what to do then then the reverse. 

If you need any help with the pi or the fpp just hit me up and I can advise. With the new upgrade I had some song issues since they were not  true mp3, but a wave file.

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I found last year that the positioning of your LOR AC components makes a difference.  All my RGB stuff I put in Universes 1-100 and made the LOR RS485 universe 117.  My LOR AC controllers were trying to interpret E1.31 traffic intended for further down the line.  With my LOR stuff on the end then it just needed to deal with the DMX/LOR stuff.  Fixed my jitters and show ran flawlessly. 

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On 11/15/2018 at 9:21 PM, Mister said:

Just loaded the new Falcon 2.4 pi player software. Different then the previous version  1.8 but its actually much simpler to make sequences run on, especially since now it has a pi cap specific section to run pixels on.

Yes the LOR listener does make issues when run with falcon. This is why I run everything from the pi. It's much simpler to load sequences onto and just tell LOR controllers what to do then then the reverse. 

If you need any help with the pi or the fpp just hit me up and I can advise. With the new upgrade I had some song issues since they were not  true mp3, but a wave file.

Thank you Mister!  I'll keep your offer in mind for the future!

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On 11/18/2018 at 8:25 AM, caniac said:

I found last year that the positioning of your LOR AC components makes a difference.  All my RGB stuff I put in Universes 1-100 and made the LOR RS485 universe 117.  My LOR AC controllers were trying to interpret E1.31 traffic intended for further down the line.  With my LOR stuff on the end then it just needed to deal with the DMX/LOR stuff.  Fixed my jitters and show ran flawlessly. 

Good to know when I configure my system that way.  Thank you!

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15 hours ago, Jay Czerwinski said:

Good to know when I configure my system that way.  Thank you!

Yup same reason I run mine with Lor controllers at the end of cat5 instead of the beginning.

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On 11/15/2018 at 9:21 PM, Mister said:

Just loaded the new Falcon 2.4 pi player software. Different then the previous version  1.8 but its actually much simpler to make sequences run on, especially since now it has a pi cap specific section to run pixels on.

Yes the LOR listener does make issues when run with falcon. This is why I run everything from the pi. It's much simpler to load sequences onto and just tell LOR controllers what to do then then the reverse. 

If you need any help with the pi or the fpp just hit me up and I can advise. With the new upgrade I had some song issues since they were not  true mp3, but a wave file.

This year I am planning on running my show on a PI running the Falcon Player.  Do you have to convert your LOR sequences to Xlights to run them on the FPP?  Which version of LOR are you using, S4 or S5?    As I'm still very early in the process so I will more than likely have more questions.  I hope you don't mind

Dennis

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27 minutes ago, Denny H said:

This year I am planning on running my show on a PI running the Falcon Player.  Do you have to convert your LOR sequences to Xlights to run them on the FPP?  Which version of LOR are you using, S4 or S5?    As I'm still very early in the process so I will more than likely have more questions.  I hope you don't mind

Dennis

I made the move two years ago, S5 wasn't out.  As far as I know the Falcon Player can only run FSEQ files but converting S4 was easy peasy once I mapped my props.  Because of all the RGB props I had it took a little while to do (mapping - 3 hours), but it was a one and done drill.  From that point it takes 35-45 seconds to convert a LOR sequence.

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10 minutes ago, caniac said:

I made the move two years ago, S5 wasn't out.  As far as I know the Falcon Player can only run FSEQ files but converting S4 was easy peasy once I mapped my props.  Because of all the RGB props I had it took a little while to do (mapping - 3 hours), but it was a one and done drill.  From that point it takes 35-45 seconds to convert a LOR sequence.

Ok so you went the mapping route.  Thank you for the response.  The main reason for my switching over to the FPP over a PI is not have to run my show from a computer.  I spoke with LOR about trying to use the LOR Mini Director but they said that I couldn't use that in my environment.  Since all of my sequences are still in S4 format I'll stay with that instead of switching over to S5.

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5 minutes ago, Denny H said:

Ok so you went the mapping route.  Thank you for the response.  The main reason for my switching over to the FPP over a PI is not have to run my show from a computer.  I spoke with LOR about trying to use the LOR Mini Director but they said that I couldn't use that in my environment.  Since all of my sequences are still in S4 format I'll stay with that instead of switching over to S5.

only reason mapping took a while for me is that I decided to map the pixel elements which took a while.  After that experience I learned that if I used the SUP files (Superstar) for my pixel props then that import was easier and faster.  Year two I only brought over the AC components via import and duplicated/enhanced my RGB effects in xLights.

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10 minutes ago, caniac said:

only reason mapping took a while for me is that I decided to map the pixel elements which took a while.  After that experience I learned that if I used the SUP files (Superstar) for my pixel props then that import was easier and faster.  Year two I only brought over the AC components via import and duplicated/enhanced my RGB effects in xLights.

Yep since I'm adding more RGB elements to my display this year I was planning on rewriting my sequences with the exception of my AC Singing Faces elements and my 12 Ribbon CCR sequences.  So it looks like I'll be going the same route as you.  Now I just have to figure out how to migrate/map my AC Singing Faces to Xlights.

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2 minutes ago, Denny H said:

Yep since I'm adding more RGB elements to my display this year I was planning on rewriting my sequences with the exception of my AC Singing Faces elements and my 12 Ribbon CCR sequences.  So it looks like I'll be going the same route as you.  Now I just have to figure out how to migrate/map my AC Singing Faces to Xlights.

that's easy, several different ways to do it.  PM me your email and I will find/send you my singing face model. from there it's just left eye to left eye, right eye to right eye, etc.

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no shortage of help on Zoom.

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I personally dont have any lightorama product besides their controller for mini lights. I use xlights fully and it converts all sup. And lightorama files into it, where I can then place them into my prop models in xlights. Then in xlights I convert it to an fpp. File and save it to the pi.  Only thing i need from lightorama is there controllers and hardware app. To assign controllers #s. Which is free if you look. Without the entire software packet.

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Can FFP with a Picap run a pixe2?  I have a pi with fpp 2.6 and when I test my pixels they light up but when I sequence them in xlights it doesn’t work. 

I have my pixie set up to dmx. I think it’s an xlights problem and I don’t have it configured right. My goal is to use the pi to run rgb pixels for landscape lights. And I’m trying to avoid have to buy a power supply to power the pixels. That’s why I want to use the pixie 2. 

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13 minutes ago, ericg2000 said:

Can FFP with a Picap run a pixe2?  I have a pi with fpp 2.6 and when I test my pixels they light up but when I sequence them in xlights it doesn’t work. 

I have my pixie set up to dmx. I think it’s an xlights problem and I don’t have it configured right. My goal is to use the pi to run rgb pixels for landscape lights. And I’m trying to avoid have to buy a power supply to power the pixels. That’s why I want to use the pixie 2. 

Pi will run pixels off a PiCap and should be able to communicate with the Pixie but the Pixie will need to draw power from somewhere.  If you are going to use the same power supply that supplies the Pi then everything has to be 5v.  You have to have all the addressing correct so that they can talk, if that isn't done then you will have issues.  Pi has to know where to find the Pixie (IP address) plus the Pi setup and xLights setup have to match.

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I will have the pixie outside plugged in. The pi will be inside plugged in. I will have the pi and pixie conected with cat5.  

Im sure I have it set up wrong I just don't know what is wrong

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8 minutes ago, ericg2000 said:

I will have the pixie outside plugged in. The pi will be inside plugged in. I will have the pi and pixie connected with cat5.  

Im sure I have it set up wrong I just don't know what is wrong

are you using a switch?  If it were me I would have the Pi to switch, switch on my network, switch to Pixie (location doesn't matter).

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No switch. I have the pixie plugged into the rj45 on the picap. It's my understanding the picap takes the place of the lot USB dongle. 

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7 minutes ago, ericg2000 said:

No switch. I have the pixie plugged into the rj45 on the picap. It's my understanding the picap takes the place of the lot USB dongle. 

I could be wrong but I don't think it works that way.  PiCap doesn't take the place of the dongle, DMX mode doesn't require a dongle.  Only RS485 requires a dongle.  Try it my way and then adjust to your way.

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depending on the PiCap you should be able to plug a strand of something smart into the output.

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